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Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (LLIM)

Lateral lumbar interbody fusion is a spinal fusion surgery used to treat certain severe spinal conditions. The purpose of an open lateral lumbar interbody fusion (XLIF) is to release the pressure placed on nerves by decompressing an impacted nerve in the spinal canal. This nerve can be impacted by several spine conditions, including herniated disc, bulging disc and many other degenerative conditions.

If you have been recommended to undergo a lumbar spinal fusion, you should research the different types of lumbar fusion procedures available to you. While traditional open back fusion is the most commonly referred to type of lumbar fusion, Austin Midtown Ambulatory Spinal Center offers a shorter recovery time as well as a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery with our minimally invasive stabilization surgery.^

As you continue to research the types of lumbar fusion surgery available to you, we encourage you to read our informational articles and contact our dedicated team for more information on our minimally invasive spine surgery. Since 2005, we have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from their chronic neck or back conditions. Let us help you find the best treatment option to relieve your pain so you can get back to the activities you love.

Process of a lateral lumbar interbody fusion procedure

A minimally invasive lateral lumbar interbody fusion begins with a surgeon making a small incision, about 1-inch in length, along the side of the body. Since most people assume the incision is made in the back, the idea that the incision is made on the side of the body may seem strange. The reason for this is simple, however. By making a small incision on the side, our surgeon is able to move through the muscles in the body to reach the spine without having to unnecessarily cut through or disturb the muscles.